Friday, March 7, 2014

From Plato to Alice


I am sure I am not alone when I say that my freshman year of college was a lot of fun and challenging all at the same time.

 I had always done well in school, and I very much enjoyed learning. But college was different. With all of the freedoms and opportunities college life presented me, I had to learn to be disciplined (I can't say that I have learned it entirely, and I am still working on it). No longer could I do little homework and minimal studying and hope to do well. Research papers and tests required a lot of preparation, thought, and effort.

I am the oldest in my family, so I didn't have older siblings to fill me in on what it was like to stay up 24 consecutive hours and writing a 10 page paper that was due the next day. But I did have an uncle who was at George Mason working through a joint PhD/JD program at the time. My uncle, Luciano, had just graduated with high honors as the valedictorian for his class at the University of Utah. We would talk about school a lot during my freshman year, and we still do. I spent a long time asking for advice and receiving counsel from him on G-Chat and Skype. Our conversations have covered many topics like: Supply and demand, opportunity costs, Plato and The Republic, myths and Ancient Rome, The Iliad, The Odyssey, the Aeneid, Joseph Smith and the LDS church, Google Glass, and recently, his book Subsumption. I have learned a lot from him and am grateful that he has always been willing to help me.
Me and Luciano. We joke that this was our first discussion of basic economic principles.

Luciano is an economist. And he is also a writer. He is working on the final edits of his book that is a fictional commentary on the relationship between history, economics, and technology. It has a gripping plot that explores the economical effects that an alleged peaceful alien invasion has on the world. He mixes science finction, fantasy, satire, and historical non-fiction to craft an entertaining and insightful story. Personally, I see it becoming a successful motion picture. I told him that I better be given a star role.

He asked me to read the working copy of the book and help him as he edits the storyline. It has been a really interesting process and I have enjoyed helping him and learning from his experience as a writer that is looking for outside constructive criticism and opinion. He even sent out a survey to those who read his first draft in order to help him understand how readers interacted with the text. I think this was a great idea.

He is somebody that I will feel really comfortable bouncing my own writing ideas off of. He has helped me with numerous papers, including some for this class. I think that as I get some help from him, I will feel even more confident as I share my ideas with others for this final paper and future papers. I think he will also have good insight on how I can better share my ideas, too.

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